HC Deb 22 March 1999 vol 328 cc35-6W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will make a statement on the availability of places for(a) part-time and (b) full-time pre-school education for children other than those from socially disadvantaged circumstances for the school year ending 31 July, 2000. [76931]

Mr. McFall

I expect approximately 8,500 full-time and 8,000 part-time pre-school education places to be available in Northern Ireland in the school year 1999–2000. These places should be sufficient for around 70 per cent. of all children in their immediate pre-school year, compared to 45 per cent. in 1997–98. It is not possible to predict the numbers of children from socially disadvantaged circumstances who will take up pre-school education places, but, if all in this group are allocated places, sufficient places should be available for almost 60 per cent. of the remainder of children.

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